May is the third month in a row that the City of Columbia has not had to pay American Airlines guaranteed money for serving Columbia Regional Airport.
The city set up the $3.3 million Air Service Revenue Guarantee fund in 2012 to guarantee revenue to American Airlines, but the city has only had to pay from that fund twice. That is because American made money flying from Columbia Regional in March, April and May. Steven Sapp, a public information specialist with the City of Columbia Public Works Department said American Airlines’ numbers for its Columbia service have been consistently good.
“Load factors have been very well, as well as pre-bookings,” Sapp said.
In a written statement sent to KBIA, American spokesman Matt Miller said the airline is very pleased with the first five months of service at Columbia Regional and noted the “overwhelming support the airline has received from the Columbia community.”
Miller said the American’s success is partly because its two hubs served from Columbia—Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport—are top destinations for mid-Missourians and serve as connecting points to other flights.
As American continues to experience success at Columbia Regional, the airport seeks more service from American and other airlines.
“We are constantly in talks with our American Airlines partners to see where other destinations might be possible, or simply increases in the size of the aircraft or number of flights to either Chicago or Dallas,” Sapp said. “In addition, we’re always looking at what other airlines may have to offer, too. Certainly, there have been talks at a very high level—nothing very specific—with other airlines and other destinations.”